October 16

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit…” vs. 6

Paul hadn’t stayed long in Thessalonica. His preaching had been favorably received by some Gentile searchers but the Jews of the city had forced him to leave. He was worried that the word he had preached would be lost by those who had received it, and was overjoyed when he heard later that the new believers had remained faithful in spite of opposition. It was his conviction that they had found resilience by becoming imitators of him and of the Lord. In general this is the way the gospel of Jesus Christ has been spread through all generations. We are imitators of those who have gone before us. When we look back at our own faith stories we can often pick out the people who have been our models–and sometimes it’s not even been a conscious choice–instead we’ve been molded and formed without even knowing what’s happening. Many times it’s our parents who set us on our path by regularly exposing us to Jesus. Sometimes it’s happened on a later part of our journey–a pastor or friend used by the Spirit to inspire and convict–it could even have been a television personality or a writer. And we don’t just imitate in order to flatter–for most people the imitation is a sincere adoption of a life that brings joy and purpose. Praise God for those who have shown us the Way!

Thought for the Day: Who am I imitating?

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